AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 32. Space Instrumentation
Display, Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 10:00am-6:30pm, Empire Hall South

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[32.12] SNAP: Supernova / Acceleration Probe. An Experiment to Measure the Properties of the Accelerating Universe

S. Deustua (LBNL), D. Curtis, G. Goldhaber, J. R. Graham, S. Harris, P. Harvey, H. Heetderks, A. Kim, M. Lampton, R. Lin, D. Pankow, C. Pennypacker, A. Spadafora, G. F. Smoot (UC Berkeley), G. Aldering, W. Edwards, B. Frye, D. Groom, S. Holland, D. Kasen, R. Knop, R. Lafever, M. Levi, P. Nugent, S. Perlmutter, K. Robinson (LBNL), P. Astier, J.F. Genat, D. Hardin, J.- M. Levy, R. Pain, K. Schamahneche (IN2P3), A. Baden, J. Goodman, G. Sullivan (U.Maryland), R. Ellis, M. R. Metzger (CalTech), D. Huterer (U.Chicago), A. Fruchter (STScI), C. Bebek (Cornell U.), L. Bergstrom, A. Goobar (U. Stockholm), C. Lidman (ESO), J. Rich (CEA/DAPNIA), A. Mourao (Inst. Superior Tecnico,Lisbon), SNAP Collaboration

A ~2-meter satellite telescope with a 1-square-degree optical imager, a small near-IR imager, and a three-channel near-UV-to-near-IR spectrograph can discover over 2000 Type Ia supernovae in a year at redshifts between z=0.1 and 1.7, and follow them with high-signal-to-noise calibrated light-curves and spectra. The resulting data set can determine the cosmological parameters with precision: mass density \OmegaM to ±0.02, vacuum energy density \Omega\Lambda to ±0.05, and curvature \Omegak to ±0.06. The data set can test the nature of the ``dark energy'' that is apparently accelerating the expansion of the universe. In particular, a cosmological constant dark energy can be differentiated from alternatives such as ``quintessence,'' by measuring the ratio of the dark energy's pressure to its density to ±0.05, and by studying this ratio's time dependence. The large numbers of supernovae across a wide range of redshifts are necessary but not sufficient to accomplish these goals; the controls for systematic uncertainties are primary drivers of the design of this space-based experiment. These systematic and statistical controls cannot be obtained with other ground-based and/or space-based telescopes, either currently in construction or in planning stages.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://snap.lbl.gov. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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